Sunday, August 21, 2016

Not-a-toy toy

I bought some toys, including a Barbie doll, over the weekend but I didn't get to play with them that much. Yeah, thanks to Pokemon Go.

A major toy I got was Pokemon related. My old phone had problems with the game plus it is already 2 years old so I needed an upgrade. I was supposed to get an Asus Zenfone 3 but their price scheme is designed to attract people who blindly equate price with value, or at least those who demands little from their phone and money. I was really planning to get one over the weekend even before Pokemon Go was a thing. Yes, I plan in advance. But when Asus revealed the prices for the Zenfone 3 series, I had to look for another. I was reading reviews all week to help me decide.

While I was out, I decided to check the toy specialty shops. I was looking for a decently priced Black Panther 4-inch doll. I was lucky to find one with a suggested retail price. The movie version was a more sensible purchase than the comic version. The Agent 13 it came with was meh.

The photos of the Marvel dolls above were taken using the new phone. Although I don't usually care much about phonecams since I prefer using my point-and-shoot, I'm glad the pictures from the new phone are decent enough. I don't have a cable for the new phone to connect with the point-and-shoot camera so I have to rely on the phonecam, for now.

This blog entry was also posted using my phone. I was afraid the old apps I use in blogging are not compatible with the new phone. The old version of the Flickr app (which I prefer) is not compatible which is sad but I'll get over it.

The true test was of course how well the new phone performed in playing Pokemon Go. It was definitely better than my old phone, although it sometimes hang. I don't know if the problem is in the app, the server, the network or my phone.

Nope, I'm not gonna name the phone.

Monday, August 15, 2016


There are a lot of stuff that take my mind away from dolls. Okay, it's just Pokémon Go, lately. Although it's fun right now, I have a feeling I'll get over it soon.

It's not the long walks that will eventually make me quit. It's not the crappy network connection, no matter how frustrating it is. It's not really the cheaters. It's about how many people are playing that may make me quit sooner.

I was hoping to take advantage of the rainy day, expecting not a lot of people will visit the parks. I was so disappointed.

I was hoping to catch me some Pokémon while strolling alone in the park in the rain, away from the lure parties the malls were having. When I got to the park, everyone was already in their spot near the lures, just waiting. I couldn't find a safe spot. By safe, I mean away from anyone who might try to strike a conversation (one of the greatest fears of an introvert) but still get a benefit from a lure, any of the dozen lures. I just decided to walk away. I had an egg to hatch, anyway.

I did stop whenever my phone vibrated because a Pokemon was nearby and it vibrated a lot. I was busy trying to catch a Rattata when I heard someone from a passing car shouted, "look, he's playing Pokemon." Getting attention is one fear of an introvert so it was very uncomfortable for me even if I had no idea if I was the person referred to. There were about a dozen guys there that seemed to be playing Pokémon, too. Then I said to myself, "who cares?"  It's not like there's anything wrong with playing Pokemon. That was when I knew I was momentarily normal.

Unlike playing with dolls, adults can play Pokemon publicly without getting curious or judgemental stares. It doesn't matter even if a kid 20 yrs younger is twice my level. There's no judgment. (I have a day job as an excuse, in case there is.)  It's nice for once to be part of some sort of hive mind, controlled to go wherever by our smartphones we thought we control. It's fun to let go of personal critical thinking for a while and just be part of a hive. And don't you dare criticize the hive, we will swarm you. The hive will keep us safe, even if your car is about to crash, or you're about to step on a landmine, or you're about to be shot for trespassing. It doesn't matter. You won't be long as you're normal, like the hive.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

How do you measure

I have always felt that the stiff Fashionista doll heads using the Lea/Kayla mold are too big for my taste but I always doubt myself whenever I see photos of those dolls along with other dolls I consider using the old size. They seem to be just about the same size, just like the dolls below.

In this day and age, wherein you read a lot of things that seem valid, sound, intelligent or truthful, I'm glad I have been trained to doubt, even myself. It's hard to tell what's true just by looking. One way to find out if the new doll head is indeed bigger than the others, is to use something impartial, like a caliper. (It is important to know where you get your information. The bias of the source can transform the information to something skewed. Make sure the source is impartial about the topic.) Before you go on reading, try to guess (but keep it to yourself) which of the dolls above has the biggest and smallest head.
I have ordered the dolls from the biggest (leftmost) to the smallest (rightmost) as my guess. I may have an advantage in guessing since I've had more than one view of the dolls.

The first doll is an unmodified stiff Fashionista doll head. I have have decided to measure the distance between the two tragi as they seem to be independent of the face paint or how high the hairline was rooted. The caliper reads somewhere between 24mm and 25mm. I read it as 24.65mm.

The next doll is another stiff Fashionista but this time it has been soaked in a shrinking solution for about 12 hours. It has been 5 days since the soak. I'm expecting it to shrink further after about a week. For now, it measures 23.80mm.

The next doll is Bead Party Lea which was released around 2003. Although she has big eyes, I really like her. That is why I haven't modified her in any way. She measures 23.20mm from tragus to tragus.

The 4th doll has another shrunken head, but it was soaked using the same shrinking solution for about 24 hours. It has been months since it was soaked so I don't think it will shrink any further. It measures 22.65mm. 
There is a 2-mm difference between the 1st and the 4th doll. The difference is insignificant, isn't it? That translate to 1.2cm for a life-sized person. If the width of your face increased by 1.2cm, wouldn't you think you've gained weight?

Photos, even if they are not edited, can trick someone to perceive size differently. Here are the two dolls side by side. The size difference is more apparent than in the first photo. The photos have not been warped so it can't be said they're not telling the truth. The photo directly above and the first photo may tell different stories but it doesn't mean one is lying. It could just be a difference in perspective.

While I was at it, I decided to measure two more dolls with the same head mold. The Shakira doll (ca2002) above measures 23.10mm. The Monte Carlo doll (ca2006) below measures 23.05mm. The Bead Party (ca2003) is 23.20mm. All three are older dolls and their measurements are close to each other. I personally prefer the old measurements.